Pine Haven council bemoans misuse of slash pile
August 20, 2020
At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Pine Haven Town Council, Public Works Director Sunny Schell shared with the governing body her frustration with the behavior of a few town residents who abuse the privilege of using the town slash (burn) pile by dumping old appliances, concrete, decks, household garbage and furniture, forcing the town to dispose of the waste items.
This costs the town thousands of dollars in labor and fees to pick up in a municipal vehicle and pay landfill charges.
The entire situation only worsens during the annual clean up days, Schell said, reminding the council of last year’s cost.
“The dumpsters were full the first day and [then they dumped] on the side. It cost the town $1000 to get it picked up and then it cost another $3000 to get rid of all the stumps, concrete, etc.,” she said.
“It’s a great thing for the town because everyone’s cleaning up all their yards and everything, [but] I don’t want any more garbage, water heaters, washers and dryers – everybody’s crap they don’t want to take to the dump.”
Last week, the town installed a sign listing items that cannot be burned and cannot be dumped at this location, yet the violations continue. Volunteer Fire Chief Don Lancaster spoke of his concern regarding items residents are putting in the slash pile to be burned.
“The old couch cushions, particle board, pressed wood, that kind of stuff, are classified toxic and if DEQ ever catches us burning stuff releasing toxic fumes, they will shut us down,” he said.
Schell agreed, saying, “One resident asked if they could bring old telephone poles into the town burn pile and was refused.” Due to the creosote, a highly poisonous chemical preservative added to the timber, they, too, cannot be burned. The individual responded that he would “get rid of them on his own”.
“At least he asked,” said Schell.
At this time the Pine Haven Council is stymied as to their options, not wanting to bring legal action, but also not willing to pass such a burden on to municipal tax payers indefinitely.